Dubai, 22 December 2020: The 21st edition of the Fazza Championship for Youlah has set the bar higher for competitors this season. Now, each Yuweel (Youlah performer) is tasked to completely immerse in UAE’s cultural heritage, making the quest for the Fazza Gold Cup and the Dh1 million prize money even harder to fetch. 

This year, the participants have to undergo five challenges, including Youlah, horse and camel riding, Saktoun rifle shooting, and traditional poetry before being named as the Meydan Grand Knight.

Last Friday, the third episode of the Fazza Championship for Youlah, organised by Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC), witnessed four new Yuweels: Saud Ibrahim Alnaqbi, Mohammed Abdullah Bin Dalmook, Rashid Alketbi and Mohammed Alameri. The fourth episode will be held on December 25, before the competition goes into the quarterfinalist round. Two more Yuweels have qualified last weekend for the quarterfinals, namely Abdullah Alnaqbi and Maktoum Al Mansouri.

The competitors were tested by their skills on horse riding endurance and robotic camel race, target shooting and vernacular poetry, along the actual Youlah competition.

Mohammed Abdullah Bin Dalmook, a 22-year Emirati, who was among the knights last episode pointed out: “Since I was in my early teen years, I was always fascinated with this Emirati traditional folk-art and joined this championship almost every year. Only once, I’ve earned the “Best Yuweel” Award. Usually, competitions in the quarterfinals get much tougher, but this year, with so many points to earn in the outdoor horse endurance and camel racing and shooting, the level of competition has become tougher but I’m more resolute to snatch the Fazza Gold Cup.” 

“This season, contestants who qualified have been empowered in various heritage competitions and have shown great merit and enthusiasm. The high level of competition among Emiratis has a strong appeal and following from the public who watch the weekly competitions at Al Meydan Fort at Global Village, or over Al Oula Radio, Sama Dubai TV and social media platforms,” said Natalie Awadissian, HHC Director of Radio Stations Department, Media and Communication.

Equitation arts

This season, many equestrian and camel racing clubs, centres and institutions have sponsored the Youlah performers in order to gain points from the external activities and become the true knights worthy of the Fazza Cup.  

Lieutenant Ahmed Al Kaabi, in charge of the Equestrian – in Dubai Police explained: “Adding an endurance race to the Youlah competitions is a positive thing. It gives the competitors a chance to learn equitation arts or the practice of horse riding or horsemanship. They also learn how to deal with horses. On the personal level, it gives the performer a chance to become proficient in horse riding. On the level of the competition, it gives the competitors a chance to earn additional points. Equitation science is a wholesome learning process and includes riding, saddling, the ability to know how and when to ride the horse.” 

“We train the competitors from the very basics with schooling horses as a first step. Later, we moved to the endurance race and in the final phase we conduct the actual races. All of the competitors work as a team, they help one another and ensure to dedicate their time fully to improving their proficiency. Nonetheless, on the racetrack wining has a different feel to it, but in the end they are all winners with the kind of knowledge and experience they have earned,” Al Kaabi underlined.